cookiemom6067: (pic#72555815 Big Damn Hero)
[personal profile] cookiemom6067
Title:  Baptism
Author:  [livejournal.com profile] cookiemom6067 
Fandom:  Stargate Atlantis
Episode:  5.19 Vegas
Rating:  G
Genre:  Vignette
Word Count:  387
Author's Notes:  Note Written for [livejournal.com profile] sga_episodefic 's Season 5 tagathon.  John bleeds in the desert, not expecting a rescue.  thank you to [livejournal.com profile] kisahawklin  for a very frank and very fast beta.  The story is a third the length and a whole lot better, thanks to her.



Sometimes, redemption is not to be had, not at any price.


With his idealism destroyed by loss and failure in the kiln of Afghanistan, John sought the heat of Nevada, the redemption of being a cop in Sin City.


John embraced his identity as a loser and a disgrace, sinking down into the underbelly of Vegas like a heavy stone in a lively river. He was just another bad gambler with an old car and an anemic bank balance.


If death was dealt wholesale in Afghanistan, it was strictly retail in Vegas, but it was death, all the same. It clung to him like cigarette smoke from the poker table. He had hardened his shell until he felt more like petrified wood than flesh and blood. The deaths of eight more wouldn’t have made a dent in his surface, if it were not for the bizarre condition of the bodies: mummified, grotesque, radioactive, and marked with a strange pattern in the center of their chests.

And those deaths had led to Mr. Woolsey from the FBI, Dr. Rodney McKay threatening to ruin his already pathetic life, and the weird white haired creature that had hissed that he could read his future.

"I'll show you your destiny, John Sheppard."


He wondered if the starving, delirious alien had known just how short his future was going to be.

“I met another version of you once. You were really quite different.”


The words had been gentle, quiet. At first, McKay’s manner had been brusque, almost hostile, threatening John and unsettling him with an insider’s knowledge of his life. But the man’s eyes had softened when he spoke of the other Sheppard, as if comparing John to his doppelganger and judging him deficient.

"It's amazing how one incident can entirely alter the course of your life."


He’d made a decision to make a u-turn on a desert highway, and now the Wraith was dead, his trailer and equipment destroyed, and John was bleeding out under the hot, dry, desert sun. John had had nothing to live for, but it seemed he had everything to die for.

I’d like to believe that you have the same strength of character as that other John Sheppard.”


John turned his face to the bright blue sky.

Sometimes, redemption can be had, for the ultimate price.

 

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